Catoctin Mountain Park Donates More Than 4485 Pounds of Deer Meat To Local Food Banks

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Date: April 1, 2015
Contact: Mel Poole, 301-663-9330

THURMONT, MD –Catoctin Mountain Park completed the sixth year of white-tailed deer population reduction as prescribed in the Catoctin White-tailed Deer Management Plan / Final Environmental Impact Statement.The plan addressed the consumption of tree and shrub seedlings by an increasing deer population, which has limited the ability of native forests to regenerate.

Herd reduction took place between November 2014 and February 2015, resulting in the removal of 119 deer from the park. A total of 4,485 pounds of venison (deer meat) was donated to the local Thurmont Food Bank, the Help Hotline, and the Lunch Place soup kitchen.

Pastor Sally Joyner-Giffin, with the Thurmont Food Bank, described the donated venison as "…a special treat for many families.With the high cost of meat it has been a blessing to have the donation of locally killed deer meat. We have been providing food for over 300 households each month and there are times when we can only afford hot dogs or Vienna sausage. The deer meat has been a very welcome addition. People have remarked on how fresh it tastes and they have been very grateful for it."

"In the past 5 months 'HELP Hotline' based in Blue Ridge Summit PA, serving four counties in two states, helped 118 local families needing food assistance.Venison, donated through the National Park Service at Catoctin Mountain Park, is our main source of protein and so well received by the families they began to share recipes and cooking ideas. We most certainly look forward to using this service in the future." –HELP Hotline staff.

Reduction using firearms will continue annually to reduce and maintain the deer population at Catoctin.Before the first season of deer management began in February 2010, there were approximately 123 deer per square mile in the Park.Before the sixth season of reduction began, the deer population was estimated by Park Biologists to be 35 deer per square mile. The deer density in a healthy forest is 15-20 deer per square mile.The number of deer removed each year will be based on the results of annual vegetation monitoring and deer population monitoring conducted each fall and what the weather permits us to take.

Catoctin Mountain Park is one of over 400 units administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The Park Visitor Center, located on State Route 77 three miles west of Thurmont, Maryland, is open Sunday-Saturday from 9:30 am –5:00 pm. Correspondence should be addressed to: Superintendent, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Please visit the Catoctin Mountain Park website at for more information. General information can be obtained by calling the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388.


Last updated: April 10, 2015

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6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788


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